I believe in words. I believe in their power to change the world. And I also believe in stories and in the fact that they are more than just clusters of words put together by chance. Why did I say all these things? Because we don’t listen anymore and mostly, we don’t talk anymore. When was it the last time that you read a story, how about when you listened a good one?
You could ask me why do I think that stories are important. One of the answers would be – because each story, written in a book or lived by someone, is a new world. For stories are not just for children. Human beings are living stories, with hundreds, maybe thousands of pages. Each and every one of us has something to tell and by speaking, we are building a bridge towards others. We are all made in the same way, we are all able to talk and think, never would two persons live the same story or narrate the same thing. If we were to exclude the skill, anyone could write a book about his own life. For what else is this world if not a magnificent living library?
The books we are reading are born from our midst: we are the unhappy Madame Bovary, we are in a quest for everlasting youth, we suffer, laugh, cry, try the impossible between the pages of books. When you read a story, you read yourself – you are there with all yours, whether we talk about love stories, miseries, accomplishments or failures. A story teaches us that we are not alone and not the only ones in limit situations. It is frequently said that the world is the same for centuries, however, I would say that what is different are the stories.
When our life stops from being a peaceful sea to navigate on, our stories become our compass for we always have to learn from them, just like we had the instructions manual for our own life. We are made of stories, we live them constantly. And once you get to love your stories, you might begin the stories others are telling. The shopkeeper, the teacher, the man who sales newspapers, the neighbor you stumble upon in front of the elevator – they all wait to tell you their stories as you might want to tell yours.
With just one word we can transform a piece of reality from ugly to beautiful, from good to bad and the list goes on, Any story can change your life. If we need air in order to breathe, therefore to live, stories are the air for our soul. And we must not forget that the soul is the neighbor of our heart – so, by reading of hearing a story you could actually be talking to your own heart. Is it worth it? I would say it certainly is.
Art by Hsiang Yu Wang